Five changes to France squad for Wales clash

France's rotation policy continues for this weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales - and team manager Jo Maso has vowed it will be in full force until the end of the tournament.

France's rotation policy continues for this weekend's RBS 6 Nations clash against Wales - and team manager Jo Maso has vowed it will be in full force until the end of the tournament.

Les Bleus have made five changes to the squad that beat Ireland 20-17 last time out for Saturday's match at the Stade de France.

Nicolas Mas, Benoit August, Gregory Lamboley, Elvis Vermeulen and Aurelien Rougerie have been drafted in, as head coach Bernard Laporte continues to cast his eye over some of his fringe players with the World Cup later this year in mind.

He pledged at the outset of the Six Nations that every squad member would be given a chance to prove themselves in the tournament, and Maso insists the coaching staff will not go back on their word.

"We have used 24 players in the first two matches and there will, without doubt, be 29 of them who will have played following the Wales match,'' he said.

"We've fixed it as a rule to give a chance to each of our 40 squad members during the tournament, and we will stick to our promise.''

Eleven players were not in the selection frame for the Wales game because of injury and illness, and Sebastien Chabal made it 12 after he hurt his leg in Sale's defeat to Wasps in the Guinness Premiership yesterday.

Maso hopes the men who missed out for this week will be back in contention for the game against England on March 11.

"All the players not retained for this match, like all those who were not candidates because of various injuries or illnesses, will be in the frame for England, after 15 days of heavy training,'' he added.

"Because there will be several more changes before the match at Twickenham, that is for sure.''

Chabal, Pieter De Villiers, Sebastien Bruno, Pascal Pape and Cedric Heymans were the men to be dropped from the squad for the Wales game, but there are still a clutch of key players who have been selected for all three of France's Six Nations games this year.

That includes the experienced Christophe Dominici, who will compete with Rougerie and Vincent Clerc for the two places on the wings.

Maso insisted it was important to keep the likes of 57-cap Dominici and fellow veteran Raphael Ibanez, who will captain France again in the absence of Fabien Pelous, in the party.

"There is nothing to say he [Dominici] will start,'' Maso said.

"But Christophe is like Raphael. These people are the leaders. They boost the spirits and that is very important when you are preparing for a match.''

Rougerie is available again after suspension, while Vermeulen should start at number eight after being forced to play second fiddle to Chabal for the opening two games.

Mas, August and Lamboley may have to be content with places on the bench, but they will definitely feature at some point this weekend.

Laporte will name his starting XV for the game tomorrow.

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